Facebook and Law Libraries

I’m leaving tomorrow for SEALL, where I’m going to be doing a presentation on Facebook and Law Libraries.  I’m not sure if the slides will be posted on the SEALL website or not.  If they’re not, and you’re dying to see them, let me know and I can send you a CD.  (70 slides + lots of screen shots = too big to e-mail.)  Also, if you’re interested in Facebook and Law Libraries, check out this article in the newest issue of AALL Spectrum.

After SEALL I’m going on vacation, so no new blog posts until after April 8.


Web 2.0 Challenge for Law Librarians

It looks like the CS-SIS of AALL is going to be offering  a Web 2.0 training course July 21 – August 18.   The planned topics are: Blogs & RSS, Wikis, Social Networking Software & Second Life, Flickr & Social Bookmarking Software, and Selling Social Software @ Your Library.   Registration is limited to 90 participants and if you’d like to be notified when it’s open, fill out the form here.

Of course, if you don’t want to wait until July to get some practice using Web 2.0 tools, there are several library-centric Web 2.0 training programs available.  (Blue 2.0, for instance.  The people organizing that one are really awesome!) These programs are all pretty much designed to be self-explanatory and will allow you to work on it at your own pace.

March Madness

I’ve spent the entirety of my life living in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana so perhaps I have an unrealistic impression of the importance of the annual NCAA basketball tournament.    It’s entirely possible that not all of you have been filling out tournament brackets with your friends since grade school.  Not that I condone or even acknowledge the existence of any betting pools, mind you.   It’s all for bragging rights, of course.


Anyhoo, it occurred to me that this would be a prime opportunity for a little social networking.  There’s several Facebook apps available for creating brackets and competing against your friends and colleagues.  Some even offer cash prizes.  Here’s a small sampling:

Last year I used PicksPal to create my bracket on their website (which came with badge HTML to post on blogs/personal websites/etc.), but I can’t tell if they are directing everyone to Facebook and Bebo now or if once the brackets are announced, they’ll put it up on their website.  It looks like ESPN will also have a bracket competition tomorrow.

And don’t forget, if you want kick it old school, but not so old school that you’ll have to hand write in your selections, Microsoft office has templates available.

Facebook Badges

Don’t mind me, I just need to have my badges displayed somewhere so that I can gank them for my SEALL presentation.

Sarah Glassmeyer's Facebook profile

Sarah Glassmeyer's Facebook profile

The MySpace/Facebook connection

It seems like every time someone makes the news, reporters immediately jump on Facebook or MySpace to see if there’s any information to be found.    In the case of the recent Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, there was.

She actually didn’t have to delete everything.  She could have just limited her profile visibility to her friends or left the New York network (in the case of Facebook) or set her profile to public (in the case of MySpace.)

I hope I can remember to mention this anecdote during my SEALL talk.

A Heartwarming Tale of Blogs and Libraries

This is a little off-topic from what I usually post…

Before I was a blogger, I was a blog reader. One of the first blogs I started to regularly read was pamie.com, the blog of Pamela Ribon. At that time, I just knew her as one of the moderators on Television Without Pity, a website I spent more time on than my Civil Procedure homework. Now she’s a writer for the television show “Samantha Who.”

She’s a life long lover of books and so five years ago decided to start a book donation system. If memory serves correctly, it was in response to the Salinas, California branch library getting closed, but I’m not entirely sure about that. This donation system (which she runs with one of the co-founders of TWoP) has evolved into the Dewey Donation System.

All of this was just a long-winded way of me pointing you to this letter Pamie received from one of the librarians she helped this year. If you don’t feel something while reading that, well then I’m afraid you have NO HEART.

Oh, and Dewey ends today.  HOWEVER, don’t let that stop you from donating to a library.  You can always go to Amazon.com’s Wishlist area and search for “library”.   There’s over 3000 to choose from!

Weird Social Networking Experience

Lately I’ve been drifting out of library science literature and reading more-ACM type literature to get a different perspective on the whole social networking thing.  One point that has been brought up several times in discussing the difference between Facebook and MySpace is that Facebook, with its networks based on educational or professional affiliations, is primarily used to build upon existing off-line relationships.  MySpace, on the other hand, is much more of a free-for-all and encourages online-only relationships.

Reading that was totally an Oprah-esque ‘A-ha’ moment for me and explained one of the reasons why I’m so much more comfortable on Facebook.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a misanthrope, but I have no desire to go out and make a huge circle of friends.  Facebook is just an avenue for me to maintain contact with people I already know from real life – primarily co-workers and friends from library school.  (Although that has changed recently…I’ve been getting a lot of “friend” requests from librarians that I’ve never met in person. )  So I generally don’t have to worry about dealing with strangers.

I thought the same was going to be true for my Zune Social account.   Earlier this week, however, I got a friend request from someone I don’t know.  At least I don’t think I do.  I asked and he (at least I think it was a he) was very coy about it.  From what I can gather, this person somehow stumbled upon my profile – which is open to the public, after all – and liked my taste in music* so decided to “friend” me.   I’m kinda weirded out by it, but I guess there’s really no harm done.   I just never really thought of Zune Social as something other than a place to share music with the few people I know that have Zunes.

*For the record, here’s my current list of top listened to artists for this month: Fatboy Slim, Gogol Bordello, Lilly Allen, Thelonius Monk, Presidents of the United States of America, Mika, Amy Winehouse, Green Day, Sharon Jones, The Breeders, The White Stripes, The Clash, Dave Brubek, Limp Bizkit, Dropkick Murphys, Weezer, Charlie Parker, Sublime, Kanye West, Dizzy Gilespie, Bud Powell, Beastie Boys, Charles Mingus, and Nirvana.  It’s really only a weird combination unless you know that I like to listen to up tempo stuff on my walk into work, stuff that will not distract me while at my desk,  and jazz on the walk home to decompress.